Dec 27, 2016
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As we move further into the age of wireless audio with the iPhone 7 abandoning the ever-so-present headphone jack, a new category of "truly wireless" earbuds has been popping up. So you may be asking, what does "truly wireless" even mean? Well, as you may have seen, many earbuds that have claimed to be "wireless" actually have a wire in between the buds that generally goes around your neck. So, a few companies, such as Bragi, decided to do away with any and all wires, leaving us with Bragi's first product, the Dash. The Dash started as a Kickstarter project back in February of 2014, with an enormous amount of support, raising just under $3.4 million with the promise of earbuds completely free of wires and with loads of other features. These features included activity tracking, touch controls, on-board storage, water-resistance, and more. The campaign had initially intended to ship out the Dash units in October of 2014, but due to many setbacks, they started shipping out units in early- to mid-2016. With initial reports of problems with the microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, it seemed, at first, like the Dash could be just another Kickstarter flop. Instead, however, the company dedicated a lot of time into creating new updates to the firmware that drastically improved, if not completely solved these issues. The Sound DSC01138An earbud can't be good without sounding good, of course. So, how does the Dash stack up to the competition? After all, the price for these is not cheap, coming in at around $300. Well, they're actually pretty good! I wasn't expecting amazing sound from a device so small, yet packed full of components. What I found was that the Dash produces a good, clear sound, though certainly preferring the mids over the lows and highs. That said, I am quite a bass-lover myself and I'm coming from using a V-Moda Crossfade M-100, so I've been spoiled, and for earbuds, the Dash does a good job producing the bass it does. If I had to compare it to some other earbuds, I'd compare the sound to something like the "wireless" (but not completely wireless) Jaybird Bluebuds, which are quite good themselves. Bluetooth Connectivity Now, a common issue with truly wireless earbuds is their often lacking performance in their ability to hold a strong Bluetooth connection. In the beginning, there were lots of complaints from users experiencing poor connection even if the phone was placed only as far as the user's pockets. Obviously, that's a huge issue, but also one Bragi appears to have fixed through their updates. I can confidently say that I have had virtually no issues whatsoever with the connectivity of these earbuds, other than maybe one or two micro drops in connection. I tested the Dash by walking around a room and was able to go as far as 10 to 15 feet away from the source without experiencing any connectivity issues. Additionally, just the process of using and connecting the earbuds is really simple. All you do is take them out of the case and put them in your ears. The buds sense when they're in and automatically turn on, connect to each other, and connect to your phone or other device. Comfort and Design DSC01125Another historically common problem with this category of audio products is the ridiculous look of the product or their inability to stay in ears due to the sheer weight they carry. Luckily, this is not an issue with the Dash. While you may get some head turns while using this product, people often just don't care, and the Dash really doesn't look bad at all. Additionally, these earbuds were surprisingly comfortable to wear. They come with multiple sleeves to fit your ears (XS, S, M, and L), and once you find the right fit, the earbuds fit snuggly and quite comfortably. I haven't had too many issues with the buds falling out, which has always been a problem for me, whether or not the earbuds I was using were wireless. Yet another check mark for the Dash. Gestures/Controls A neat feature of the Dash is the way you control them. There are multiple ways that you control the Dash, including through the app, touch sensors on the outside of each bud, and head gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while using the earbuds, just nod or shake your head to answer or deny the call. Playing and pausing is easy, with just a tap on the right earbud, or start tracking activities with a tap on the left. One of the issues I noticed is that the touch sensors aren't only sensitive to your fingers, so putting on a winter hat caused the earbuds to do some unwanted actions. After looking around a bit, though, it looks like Bragi addressed this issue by including a touch lock that can be implemented by holding down on both the right and left touch sensors, which worked well and solved my problem. Other Features DSC01143The other features included with the Dash are a microphone, onboard storage, a heart-rate sensor, and a case that charges the buds 5 times on-the-go. To start off, the microphone had quite a few complaints in the early days, with users claiming it was unusable and that the person speaking sounded robotic over the phone. This is yet another area where Bragi has used its firmware updates to address an issue. When I was using the microphone for phone calls, some people said there were no problems at all, while others said it sounded a bit muddled, but they could still hear me and know what I was saying. As for the onboard storage, there's not much to be said about it. Songs can be added through a computer and using it works as described. Next up is the heart-rate sensor, which seemed to be relatively accurate, though I didn't have another device to compare it to at the time. This is a really nice feature for athletes looking to listen to music without an annoying wire and no need for a smartwatch. And lastly, the charging case. The case is built quite well, with an aluminum sleeve and a strong metal or plastic where the earbuds actually rest. The earbuds flash when they've been connected properly, and a magnet holds them in place. My only complaint is that I feel like I will drop the earbuds when trying to get them out of the case because you have to take the sleeve off, hold that, hold the battery part, and then fiddle with getting the buds out. That said, overall, the battery case is a nice feature, as the battery life on the buds isn't spectacular at about 3 hours. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts of the Dash? Well, I like them. I don't know if I, personally, would quite want to spend the $300 for them, but I could understand why some would. The features work well and the sound quality is pretty good, considering everything that's built into them. I think Bragi's next product, the Headphone, could also allow a lot more people to purchase their products, with reportedly better sound quality and a much lower price of $149. However, that new product does strip the Dash of many of its capabilities, including the water-resistance, touch controls, onboard storage, and heart rate sensor. So it really comes down to what you want. If you want the smart capabilities, there really is no other product out there that offers all of the Dash's capabilities, but if that does interest you, the Headphone is probably the way to go.

Get a Glimpse of Apple Watch Apps Before They Are Released

The folks over at WatchAware.com have launched a new section on their site that allows you to check out how some of your favorite apps will look like on the Apple Watch. There are currently around 60 Apple Watch apps for you to try out but they are updating the list frequently, this site should make you familiar with the watch so you’re ready to use it on day 1.


  Apple Watch Egg Timer apple watch twitter Apple Watch YO App Apple Watch Run 5K

 

Source: WatchAware

Android Wear Watch Setup | LG G Watch & Gear Live [Video]

Check out our video demonstrating the setup process of the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. The devices are fairly easy to set up but they only work with Android devices running Android 4.3+ so if you have anything other than that, they won’t work. I also show you some of the watch faces and software features.

Special thanks to AT&T for letting us borrow the Galaxy S5 Active to setup the Android Wear devices!

LG G Watch Released, Retails for $230 and Ships July 3rd

Earlier today the LG G Watch went live on the Google Play Store. The watch is priced at $229 and is available in “Black Titan” and “White Gold”. The strap on the watch can be replaced with any standard 22mm strap and the body of the watch is IP67 water and dust resistant. The device is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3+ and will ship on July 3rd.

Technical specifications

OS
Android Wear

Screen
1.65” 280 x 280 IPS LCD

Dimensions
37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95 mm

Weight
63 g

Battery
400 mAh

Processor
CPU 1.2 GHz

Wireless
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy

Memory
4 GB internal storage with 512 MB RAM

Ports and Connectors
USB (pogo pin) on G Watch, Micro USB on Charging Cradle

Sensors
9 Axis (Accelerometer/Compass/Gyro)

lg g watch available

All-day comfort
The G Watch’s beautiful display, slim design and long battery life make it remarkably comfortable to wear, all day, every day.

A choice of colors
Match your style with a choice of Black Titan and White Gold.
Changeable straps
Customize your G Watch with any standard 22mm (0.86 inch) watch strap.
Always-on display
The G Watch never sleeps. Its Always-on display allows you to check the time and see new information at a glance without touching it.
400mAh battery
The G Watch’s powerful yet compact battery will keep your watch going all day on a single charge.
Certified water and dust resistant
Don’t worry about wet or rough conditions. The G Watch is IP67 water and dust resistant.
Useful information when you need it most
Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you’re going to need, and shows it to you before you even ask, such as weather forecasts in the morning and flight time and gate information before leaving for the airport.
Straight answers to spoken questions
Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the football game. Say “Ok Google” to get stuff done like sending a text, setting a reminder or taking a note.
Compatible with Android 4.3+
The G Watch can be used with any Smartphone running Android 4.3 and above. Visit g.co/WearCheck from your phone to see if it’s compatible.
Download Android Wear
Download the Android Wear app from the Play Store on your phone to get started.
Source: Google Play

Google Announces Android Wear

Today Google announced Android Wear, it is an operating system for smartwatches and other wearable devices. The software is heavily integrated with Google Now and will have features such as always on listening like that of the Motorola X that allow you to command the watch without having to touch any buttons. Check out the videos below to see the software in action…

Android Wear: Information that moves with you 
Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:

  • Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.
  • Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.
  • The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.
  • Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build.

Introducing Android Wear. Useful information when you need it most – at a glance or in a word. Find out more at: android.com/wear

Developer Preview 
If you’re a developer, there’s a new section on developer.android.com/wear focused on wearables. Starting today, you can download a Developer Preview so you can tailor your existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear. Because Android for wearables works with Android’s rich notification system, many apps will already work well. Look out for more developer resources and APIs coming soon. We’re also already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

Source: Google Blog

Motorola Unveils the Moto360 Smartwatch

Along with Google’s announcement of Android Wear, Motorola has announced the Moto360 Smartwatch. The watch has a very “classic” design and will run on Android Wear.

The wristwatch has been through several evolutions since it first became a popular fashion accessory more than a 100 years ago. From mechanical to electronic movements, analog to digital faces, the wristwatch has been reinvented several times over, but the basic design has endured for a century because of its elegance and usefulness ‘at a glance.’ Our vision for Moto 360 was to celebrate that history as we reimagined the wristwatch for the future.

Moto 360 keeps you on time and up to date without taking you out of the moment or distracting you, telling you what you need to know before you know you need it through subtle alerts and notifications. With just a twist of the wrist you can see who’s emailing or calling, what time your next meeting is or a friend’s latest social post.

Moto 360 also responds to your voice. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like who won the Stanford vs. New Mexico game or what time your flight leaves, or to get stuff done like scheduling an appointment, sending a text, setting an alarm or taking a note.

Most importantly, Moto 360’s iconic design, featuring a round face and premium materials, feels comfortable and familiar on your wrist. It’s everything you need, with a look that you want.

Moto 360 will be available in a variety of styles globally in Summer 2014, starting in the US. To learn more about Moto 360 and stay up to date on product news, click here.

Moto 360 Cafe Moto 360_Map Moto360__Metal_RGB Moto360_Leather_RGB

Source: Motorola Blog

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